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    Queenofinsanity6
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    Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 04:33 am

    The time that Aimee had Nils under what was basically house arrest passed very slowly. Sobering up was a very special kind of hell, especially with the nightmares that now plagued him. He hadn't slept much, but he'd been determined. Aimee was right, it was time to be done with the madness. Things were so much simpler when he was sober, even with the lack of sleep.
    As the time went on, it became obvious that something was wrong with Esperanza. Within the first couple days all of the rest of their group had come by to visit and be supportive, but Ronnie, the one who would normally have been the first to show and the last to leave, never showed. He grew more and more worried as time passed without seeing her. By the end of the first week it was clear that something terrible was going on. Bea couldn't keep from him the reality of the situation, and by the end of the second week, when Aimee agreed to grant him some time to himself, it was obvious where he was going.
    He went straight to Bea and Ronnie's apartment, getting Bea to let him in before making a beeline for Esperanza's door and knocking hard. "Esperanza? Darling, please let me in."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 09:28 am

    Esperanza sat on her bed, legs folded, hands resting on her knees. She wore only a white T-shirt and an old pair of shorts, and her her hair had not been combed in days. In the fingers of her right hand was a cigarette that had burned itself down to the filter quite a while ago. A long, delicate line of ash clung precariously to the filter.

    Her eyes were glazed and vacant, and wherever she was, it was obviously far away.

    The sound of gunshots slammed her mind back into reality harshly, almost painfully. She jumped, sending the powdered remains of the cigarette scattering over the bed. Her heart thundered in her chest and for a long moment she couldn't think of anything but blind panic. Finally, her senses began to reassert themselves and she realized it had only been a knock at the door. She remembered that there had been a voice, too... Nils...

    "It... it's not locked..." she rasped, her voice sounding dry and hollow.
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 12:56 pm

    Nils swallowed hard at the sound of her voice. He knew it would be bad, but this... He was very tempted to turn and run, to call in one of the others. He wasn't sure he was ready to deal with this. He thought longingly of his wine for a moment before shaking his head and opening the door. He had to do this for her. She needed help, and he was going to give it to her.
    He bit his lip at the state of the room and Esperanza herself. "Darling..." Words failed him, and he instead sat down next to his friend and gently drew her into a hug. "I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 01:14 pm

    Reflexively, Ronnie pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged them as Nils sat down, but she didn't protest when he put his arm around her. As he pulled her into him she sniffled slightly. Something was wrong. She couldn't put her finger on it at the moment... could barely even think about it, but something was different about him.

    Her mind veered momentarily and she wondered why he was here. Something to fight, probably. Some new mystery they needed her help to solve. It seemed like that was all her life was nowadays...

    "I... I can't help. Whatever's wrong... I can't do it. I'm no good to... to anyone right now."

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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 01:19 pm

    Nils sighed a touch and began smoothing her hair in what was hopefully a comforting gesture. "No, shhhh. I'm here for you. There's no big bad right now, I'm here to help."
    He kissed the top of her head comfortingly. "I'm here to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen or anything you need, dearest."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 01:26 pm

    Ronnie laughed slightly, but there was a manic quality to it as though the laugh was holding back tears.

    "You're here to help me..." she said, although it wasn't completely clear whether it was a statement or a question. She wasn't really sure what else to say.

    She looked down at her hand and saw the empty cigarette butt between her fingers. It took her a moment to realize what it was. When she did she tossed it to the floor and reached for the half-empty pack lying on her night-stand and took another one out with shaking fingers.

    "What day is it?" she asked, not because she cared, but because she knew that she was supposed to say something. She just didn't know what.
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 04:09 pm

    He supposed he deserved that. He hadn't been in a spot to help anyone in quite a while. He had not realized how much of a drain he'd been on everyone until he'd sobered up enough to look back on it. Nils couldn't really blame her for being skeptical, even if it did hurt.
    "I... It's Monday. The 17th. You've been here for two weeks. I... This is the first time Aimee's let me go somewhere without a watcher since then. I'm clean sober, now. I haven't had a drink this whole time."
    He was aware that he was more or less rambling, but he wanted her to know. "Now it's my turn to help you."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 04:18 pm

    Ronnie looked at Nils and brushed the hair out of her face so she could see him better. That was what was different. There was no scent of wine hanging around him. He wasn't bobbing ever so slightly back and forth when he sat still. He wasn't slurring his words or fidgeting. He really was sober.

    She had been so used to it for so long that the absence of his drunkenness had thrown her off.

    "I... how?" she asked, slightly bewildered.
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 04:25 pm

    Nils felt a tendril of hope. She was already looking more herself simply by being interested. The glassy look was gone, and although she looked very weary, she looked like HER.
    "Aimee." He explained. "She... she kind of rubbed my nose in how much it was dicking over everyone else. She got me to agree to a detox, then made sure I was never out of her or Connie's sight. I've been staying over there, they got rid of everything they had. Mostly out of sheer force of her will, but it's working." He flashed her an uncertain grin. "I... I think it's because you gave me something to work with now that the wine is gone."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 04:38 pm

    Ronnie looked away and took a long drag on her cigarette.

    "Aimee..." she said, as if to herself. Everything Ronnie hadtried, all the time she had spent with Nils. Aimee had done what she couldn't.

    "I didn't help you..." she muttered, "I couldn't help Chrys... I couldn't help you... I couldn't help..." she trailed off and started crying suddenly, as though a damn had broken somewhere inside her mind. She covered her face with her hands and bent forward sobbing.

    "Oh god... I couldn't... they shot him..." she cried between sobs, "I was... I couldn't help him..."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 05:02 pm

    Nils was opening his mouth to argue with Esperanza when she broke down crying. Instead he held her tightly, rubbing small soothing circles on her back. "It's not your fault, love." He told her softly, once she had calmed down enough to hear him. "You did what you could. You kept him going long enough for his father to intervene."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 06:16 pm

    Ronnie continued sobbing and leaned into Nils, resting her head against his chest as she sobbed.

    "I just..." she started, "I can't do this... I'm no good... none of it... none of it makes any difference... I couldn't even... all the power we have and... I couldn't save him... and now he's gone..."

    She gripped his shirt with her hand and sobbed against him.

    "...I wasn't strong enough..."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 06:43 pm

    Nils was unsure of what to do, so he just continued to hold her, stroking her hair. "Shhh..." he murmured, "It's going to be alright, Esperanza. We did all we could. His father will make sure he comes out of this alright."
    He wasn't sure that anything he said here was even really getting through to her. He knew what it was like to be inconsolable, after all. This was Esperanza, though, and he had to try. "Remember what you always told me? It's not your fault, there's only so much anyone can do."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 07:03 pm

    Ronnie pulled back enough to look up at Nils, still sniffling. She laughed ironically and took a drag of her cigarette.

    "Yeah... and it worked so well..."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 07:07 pm

    Nils smiled. "But it did. I just didn't have the balls to take that last step. Do you really think I would have lasted this long if I didn't have everything you worked me through to support me when I could think straight?"
    He hugged her tightly for a moment. "Never for a moment think that you didn't make a huge difference for me, Esperanza."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 07:18 pm

    When he let go of her she was quiet for a long moment. Finally she got up and walked over to the window, still blinking back tears. She pulled down on one of the blinds with one finger and looked out, but the glaring mid-day sun hurt her eyes and she quickly let them snap back closed.

    She leaned back against the wall and rubbed her temples with one hand.

    "Nobody knows if he's ok... if he's alive. I never... I didn't even get to say goodbye to him", she said quietly, "God Nils... I think... I think I loved him."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 07:55 pm

    Nils couldn't help but cheer a bit, internally, when she stood up and looked outside. It was a good sign. Hope swelled in his chest and made him irrationally pleased with the world. He had been so worried he wouldn't be able to get through to her.
    "I imagine he will be fine. His dad took him, and he seemed to think that he could fix things." He winced sympathetically. "Oh, Esperanza..." He was at a loss for words for a moment, experience having taught him repeatedly the pain of losing someone you love. He knew also that this being both her first and a particularly jarring loss would make the pain all the worse. If there was one thing Nils knew, it was love.
    "I'm so sorry, dear." He stood and put a hand on her shoulder, unsure if she wanted another hug.
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 10:55 pm

    Ronnie didn't pull away feom Nils' hand, but she didn't make any move towards him either. She simply stood with her back to the wall and looked down atthe grey smoke rising from her cigarette.

    "Stupid... I was so stupid." she whispered, her eyes still watering, "I should have... I was dancing... when they shot him I was... I should have been watching. I could have... blinded them... stopped them... something..."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 11:22 pm

    Nils shook his head. "Dearest, I think that was the point of his music. We all went into a trance, everyone there except that one unfortunate douche and Chaddimus. Neither one of them were paying attention to the music. And we had no way of knowing that something would happen THERE, while he was on stage, with that many people around."
    He moved them so he was staring into her eyes. "This is not your fault. You did everything you could, and he is going to be fine."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 11:39 pm

    When he put his hands on her shoulders to move her Esperanza pulled back from him.

    "Is he?" she asked, "Either way he's gone."

    She looked at the door to the room and then back at Nils.

    "What do you want from me, Nils? You want me to go back out there? To fight the good fight? To watch the rest of you get hurt or killed like Indigo? Like Chrys? I don't know if I can do that, Mijo. I don't have anything left to give."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/10/10, 11:47 pm

    Hearing the thoughts that had been troubling him for so long coming out of Esperanza's mouth broke his heart a little. That more than anything made him realize what he'd been putting everyone through, and he felt guiltier than he'd ever felt in his life. He swallowed and brushed it aside. Now was not the time for that. Esperanza needed him.
    "What else are you going to do?" He asked pointedly. "I've been down that road, I know where it leads. Do you really want to do that?"
    He shook his head at her. "The Esperanza I know is better than that. Stronger. I'm not saying you have to dive back into the fray, you have every right to be upset, to want time to heal. But don't throw your life away. I promise you, it's not worth it. We're all your friends, come out and let us help you."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 21/10/10, 11:58 pm

    Ronnie looked around her at the small room that she'd lived in for the last year. The normally immaculate setting was dingy and cluttered with clothes and cigarette cartons and plates with barely touched meals that Bea had been leaving by the door for her.

    "I don't want to be strong..." she said as her sky blue eyes started to water again. A moment later she was sobbing in his arms, her smoldering cigarette forgotten in an ashtray on the windowsill.

    "I just... I just want things to be the way they were!"
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 22/10/10, 12:22 am

    Nils smiled sadly at his friend in his arms, holding her and once again smoothing her hair. It felt very strange to be on this end of things for once, but somehow still right. She was the one who had reached out first to try and bring him back, it was his turn to do the same for her. She was more important to him than even he realized.
    "I know, darling. I know. For now, just relax and let it out, love."
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    Re: Concerned

    Post by tuck on 22/10/10, 07:11 am

    For a while Esperanza simply cried in Nils' arms, her hands on his shoulders, her tears staining the front of his shirt. It was several minutes before she quieted to a soft sobbing, and several more before she felt steady enough to pull back from him. Even then her head swam with vertigo .

    She looked up at Nils and saw the love and concern in his face for the first time. She'd been so wrapped up in her own pain that it had blinded her to how it was effecting him. How it was effecting the others.

    "I'm sorry..." she said.

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    Re: Concerned

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 22/10/10, 11:34 am

    Nils shook his head. "You don't need to apologize, love. A bad thing happened, and I don't blame you for needing time to process. Just don't be like me and it should all work out."
    He smiled wryly at her. "So, what do you think? You ready to come back to the world?"

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